Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Multi-core Industrial Servers

Kontron (Poway, CA) has released 2U and 4U KISS industrial servers that bring Intel® Core™2 Duo processor performance to PICMG 1.0 based PCI/ISA applications. The ultra quiet (<35 dB) industrial servers are designed for applications that require high data processing performance without the need for high-speed PCI Express features. Designed around the Intel® 945G chipset with 1066 MHz front side bus and Intel® ICH7 I/O controller hub, the Kontron KISS PCI-759 industrial servers offer scalable processor performance based on the Intel® LGA 755 socket up to the E6400 (2 × 2.16 GHz) Intel® Core™2 Duo processor.

Support for up to 4 GB of DDR2 dual channel RAM is available. With a TDP of only 65 Watts, the Intel® Core™2 Duo processor brings double the performance with power consumption similar to an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor. The Kontron KISS PCI-759 servers are ideal for either upgrading existing applications or for implementing new, power-sensitive industrial PCI/ISA systems. The Kontron KISS PCI-759 industrial servers offer a full range of I/O interfaces for maximum application flexibility: up to 4 × 3Gb/s SATA II for fast hard drive access, 2 × GbE, 7 × USB 2.0, and one parallel and two serial interfaces.

For Free Info Visit Here.

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Using Laser Vibrometry to Validate Gossamer Space Structures

NASA has been developing large ultra-lightweight structures commonly referred to as Gossamer space structures for many years to reduce launch costs and to exploit the unique capabilities of particular concepts. For instance, dish antennas are currently being pursued because they can be inflated in space to sizes as large as 30 meters and then rigidized to enable high data rate communications.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Lasers, Lightweight materials, Vibration, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Nanophotonics Principles and Applications

The term “nanophotonics” is used to encompass the scientific study of the interaction of matter and light at the nanometer scale. It is possible to design nanometer scale devices to slow down, enhance, produce, or manipulate light by understanding how light behaves as it travels through, or otherwise interacts with, materials at the nanometer scale. Two applications where nanophotonics have had an impact on society are devices used in optical switching for telecommunications and Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) used in display technology and lighting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Optics, Telecommunications, Displays, Nanotechnology
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Transmissive Diffractive Optical Element Solar Concentrators

These would weigh and cost less than do mirror-type solar concentrators.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Solar-thermal-radiation concentrators in the form of transmissive diffractive optical elements (DOEs) have been proposed as alternatives to mirror-type solar concentrators now in use. In comparison with functionally equivalent mirror-type solar concentrators, the transmissive, diffractive solar concentrators would weigh and cost less, and would be subject to relaxed mechanical tolerances.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Sun and solar, Materials properties
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Nematic Cells for Digital Light Deflection

Smectic A (SmA) prisms can be made in a variety of shapes and are useful for visible spectrum and infrared beam steerage.

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Smectic A (SmA) materials can be used in non-mechanical, digital beam deflectors (DBDs) as fillers for passive birefringent prisms based on decoupled pairs of electrically controlled, liquid crystalline polarization rotators, like twisted nematic (TN) cells and passive deflectors. DBDs are used in free-space laser communications, optical fiber communications, optical switches, scanners, and in-situ wavefront correction.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Fiber optics, Lasers, Switches, Wireless communication systems, Refractory materials
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Improving the Optical Quality Factor of the WGM Resonator

New iterative annealing and polishing increases the resonator’s finesse over the fundamental limit.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Resonators usually are characterized with two partially dependent values: finesse (F) and quality factor (Q). The finesse of an empty Fabry-Perot (FP) resonator is defined solely by the quality of its mirrors and is calculated as

F = πR1/2/(1 – R).

The maximum up-to-date value of reflectivity R ≈ 1 – 1.6 × 10–6 is achieved with dielectric mirrors. An FP resonator made with the mirrors has finesse F = 1.9 × 106. Further practical increase of the finesse of FP resonators is problematic because of the absorption and the scattering of light in the mirror material through fundamental limit on the reflection losses given by the internal material losses and by thermodynamic density fluctuations on the order of parts in 109. The quality factor of a resonator depends on both its finesse and its geometrical size. A one-dimensional FP resonator has Q = 2 F L/λ, where L is the distance between the mirrors and λ is the wavelength. It is easy to see that the quality factor of the resonator is unlimited because L is unlimited. F and Q are equally important.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Mirrors, Performance upgrades
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Ultra-Stable Beacon Source for Laboratory Testing of Optical Tracking

A prototype laser beacon assembly provides reference for testing tracking and pointing systems.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The ultra-stable beacon source (USBS) provides a laser-beam output with a very low angular jitter and can be used as an absolute angular reference to simulate a beacon in the laboratory. The laser is mounted on the top of a very short (≈1 m) inverted pendulum (IP) with its optical axis parallel to the carbon fiber pendulum leg. The 85-cm, carbon fiber rods making up the leg are very lightweight and rigid, and are supported by a flex-joint at the bottom (see figure). The gimbal-mounted laser is a weight-adjustable load of about 1.5 kg with its center of rotation co-located with the center of percussion of the inverted pendulum. This reduces the coupling of transverse motion at the base of the pendulum to angular motion of the laser at the top.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Composite materials, Mountings, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Delaying Trains of Short Light Pulses in WGM Resonators

Delays would not be limited by resonator ring-down times.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Suitably configured whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonators have been proposed as delay lines for trains of short light pulses. Until now, it has been common practice to implement an optical delay line as a coiled long optical fiber, which is bulky and tends to be noisy. An alternative has been to implement an optical delay line as a coupled-resonator optical wave-guide (a chain of coupled optical resonators), which is compact but limits the width of the pulse spectrum to the width of an optical resonance and thereby places a lower limit on the duration of a pulse. In contrast, a delay line according to the proposal could be implemented as a single WGM resonator, and the pulses delayed by the resonator could be so short that their spectral widths could greatly exceed the spectral width of any single resonance.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Architecture, Fiber optics, Performance upgrades, Acoustics
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Product of the Month: LED Light Source

Carl Zeiss MicroImaging (Thornwood, NY) introduces the Colibri, a patented, high-performance light emitting diode (LED) light source for fluorescence microscopy. The narrow band LEDs replace conventional white light sources to produce extremely high contrast images with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, enabling the detection of weak signals and fine details in applications ranging from routine biomedical research to complex live cell imaging. The intensity of the narrow-band LEDs can be quickly and accurately set for any wavelength and exactly adapted to the specimen.

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UV Spectral Metal Coating

Deposition Sciences, Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) has released the UV Spectral Metal hybrid coating for ultraviolet (UV) curing and UV printing industries. The highly durable, advanced dichroic metal coating is used as the reflector behind the curing lamp. It is designed to maximize curing wavelengths between 220 nm and 400 nm and minimize the rest of the visible and infrared (IR) spectrum from 450 nm to 2200 nm. Mounting features such as slots, screw holes, and tabs can be formed into the mirror after coating.

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